ST 3207 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3207 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3207 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A very good Easter Day from Winnipeg where, in mid-week and using the term loosely, our first April Shower was around 30 hours of a Colorado Low which gave us a little over 15 cms of fluffy white precipitation and about double that in areas to the South and East of us.  I expect Falcon will be commenting on Monday on what the same weather system ‘did’ to Eastern Ontario.

For me, and I stress for me, after the last couple of weeks, Dada seems to have turned into the Easter Bunny – with four anagrams (two partials), two lurkers (one reversed), and one homophone, all in a very asymmetric 28 clues; with 14 hints ‘sprinkled’ throughout the grid you should be able to get the checkers to enable the solving of the unhinted clues.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 17a, 23a, 3d, and 15d.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow:


1a Each winning (5)
Not, as you might think, a double definition – a (1,4) term equivalent to each (when referring to a ticket price?) with its elements combined for the answer.

11a Country girl’s back in an Indian state (6)
Not guess a girl – the last letter (‘s back) of girL inserted into (in) AN from the clue and a three letter Indian state.

13a Very hot oven in arena (8)
A type of oven (the use of which can be an early stage in beer making) inserted into (in) a synonym of arena.

17a Private near front in theory (6)
A synonym of near and the first letter of (front in) Theory.

19a Praise transfer by bank that’s returned (7)
A synonym of transfer (as part of a delivery process) placed after (by) a synonym of bank reversed (that’s returned).

22a Fancy horse that’s catching leader in race (6)
A young female horse containing (that’s catching) the first letter of (leader in) Race.

23a An upright character welcomed by worker in woolly hat (6)
AN from the clue and the upright character used as a personal pronoun all contained (welcomed) by a worker (insect).

26a Voice back in order, one thinks (5)
The reverse lurker (back in) found in three words in the clue.


2d Swimmer heading for home going off course (7)
The first letter of (heading for) Home and a single word for going off course.

3d Are fighters exhausted in this? (3-2,9)
A (3-2) term for exhausted and a particular type of (sporting) activity involving ‘fighters.’

5d Discover a little gnu near Thetford (7)
The lurker (a little) found in three words in the clue.

8d Writer of clues, each straight: a cryptic suffocating yours truly (6,8)
An anagram (cryptic) of EACH STRAIGHT: A containing (suffocating) the perpendicular pronoun representing yours truly.

15d Mouse at home with dog in middle of settee (9)
The two letter term for at home and (with) a name often(?) used for a dog inserted into (in) the middle letters of seTTee.

22d Most preferred, Freud and Van Eyck, primarily (4)
The first letters (primarily) of four words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun (with a big groan when the penny finally dropped and assuming I am correct):


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The concluding anthem and fugue chorus of Part II – The Passion of G F Handel’s famous Oratorio The Messiah performed here by 600 singers from the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra live at the Sydney Opera House:

79 comments on “ST 3207 (Hints)
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  1. I thought Dada on top top form this morning so many thanks to him and Senf.
    I was very briefly held up in the South West (must be all those pesky tourists) so I’ll choose 17&23a plus 15d (but dogs have people’s names these days!) from there but there were winners throughout the grid, non more so than the clever 2d, my favourite.
    Happy Easter everyone.

  2. 2*/3.5*. This was an enjoyable puzzle which I found at the easier end of Dada’s range.

    I wasn’t too keen on 22d and was slightly surprised to find it in the BRB.

    1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    1. I knew you wouldn’t like 22d but I had a feeling it would be in the BRB or it probably wouldn’t have made it into the final version of the crossword

    2. Now, there’s a thing, we often get comments (complaints?) that the crosswords are too much ‘stuck in the past’ and when we get a modern word as an answer . . .

      Although, I agree that the ‘modern’ habit of abbreviating an ‘established’ word because the youth of today are too lazy and think that it is ‘cool’ not to say it properly is very annoying.

      Then, right on cue and even more annoyingly, I have just received an e-mail from one of the stores I have dealt with on-line and 22d is in the subject line!

  3. Did this randomly.
    But it all knitted nicely together in barely 2* time.
    Big smile at 3d.
    Favourites the clever 23 and 24a and 15d.
    Last in with a slightly longer pause for thought, 1a.
    No excuse as it crops up regularly.
    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  4. Friendly for a Sunday but fun while it lasted. Just me, or isn’t the endeavour hugging the tree in 16a rather then the other way round, which is how the clue reads?

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

    1. Glad you said that Sue as I thought the same & somebody will have to explain how the hyphen makes it otherwise

      1. If you look at it as an endeavour hugging a tree as per the solution you have what could be a description of the surface read.

          1. Thanks from me too, Stephen. I’d looked at that every which way but knew there must be logic somewhere!

  5. Bit more benign than some of Dadas of late but with some tricky clues in 24a and 25a. However, it contains a brilliant clue in 8d!
    Thx to all esp to Senf for the invaluable hints.

  6. On dear my Covid brain not working too well today. Still have 9d which could be two answers unless I’m completely off track. I’ve managed to get 2 loads of washing out in the sun but will have to have a lie down! Thanks to all

    1. If your two words are what I think they are, knowing that child’s play is used in the sense of easy-peasy might help.

  7. An excellent Sunday puzzle. My favourite is 19d for the very nice surface construction.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

  8. A lovely Easter Sunday puzzle – good fun with lots of smiles along the way – my top spot goes to 8d, with 21a & 24a close behind. My thanks to Dada and to Senf of course.

    P.S. Just a ‘heads up’ to Wordle players today – BEWARE! Today’s word is an acronym and one that I wouldn’t use in polite company – just saying :-)

    1. I’m delighted someone – ie (thank) you – mentioned today’s Wordle. Nothing to scare the horses really but the NYT are usually so prissy, so it’s an odd choice for them. Presumably, their setter knows what it actually stands for. You’d hope so, anyroad!

            1. Pure fluke, SB. My first guess gave the S in the correct place and A and U in the wrong place. I could think of nothing else that would fit but I fully expected for the grid to shake and say “not a word”.

          1. Well done, took me 4 to get there. Do you do the spelling bee as well? That was tricky to get enough words today.

            1. I don’t subscribe to Wordle, BL so cannot access Spelling Bee. I do look at Squardle every day but it can take up too much time, especially if over 60 words have to be found.

              1. I don’t subscribe to Wordle and I do it every day. Is it possible that the NYT gives a pass to those who were there before they bought it?

        1. Thanks – it’s usage, rather than the expression it represents, does sort of ‘sanitise’ the situation and it has probably become, or is becoming, somewhat like SCUBA where no-one remembers what it stood for when it was an acronym.

          Further, while not knowing which dictionary the inventor of Wordle used or the NYT uses, it is in the BRB so we might expect to see it in a DT crossword! :wink:

              1. Were you referring to SNAFU or CRAFT Merusa? I picked up CRAFT a few years ago from a gentleman who was involved in the enquiry into the Zeebrugge ferry disaster – What was common to us both? We were doing the Telegraph crossword puzzle in a hotel whilst on holiday in the Hebrides. SNAFU was new to me this morning, lol.

              1. I hadn’t heard of it until today but apparently it is an acronym of Can’t Remember A F—— (fill in the blank to make an appropriate rude word) Thing

  9. I found myself all over the grid in solving this little tricky Dada but it all came together in the SW, with 3d, which I finally remembered from a recent puzzle, my LOI. I think 15d is my favourite but, like Rabbit Dave, didn’t much care for 22d. Thanks to all. Happy Easter! ***/***

  10. A very enjoyable start to Easter Sunday, helped by being able to write in both the long down clues. Yes I agree this was at the easier end of the Dada spectrum, but it was an absolute delight to solve with some really clever clue constructions.


    Fav 23a LOI 1a

    Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  11. Game of 2 halves for me. The west flew in but was very slow to twig things in the east. I’m blaming my addled brain on being as high as kite on Tramadol for my poorly back caused by foolishly lifting a heavy crate of golf balls. Very enjoyable with 24a my 22d
    Thanks to D&S

  12. Many contributors remarking what a breeze this one was.
    For me, and I stress for me ⟨™⟩ I had to wrench every answer from the furthest, foggy remnants of my poor brain.

    Busy few days here – the highlight being Friday when we were guests at the Lambourn Open Day. This is always a splendid event where country folk, horsey folk, and country/horsey loving folk come together to have a lovely afternoon whilst also raising funds for the Lambourn Valley Housing Trust and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. We had a splendid picnic at the front row of the arena, and, amazingly, rather caught the sun.

    Thanks to Dada and The Man From Manitoba.

  13. Very pleasant puzzle from the Easter Bunny with the exception of 22d. Tops for me were 16&22a.

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints and stirring chorus.

  14. As usual I only had one on the first pass but this is Dada so I wasn’t too concerned. True to type, the solutions arrived slowly but steadily until the final few. These needed a bit more thought but I crossed the line in the end. I also thought 16a was the wrong way round but I am not claiming to know more than either Dada or Mr. Lancaster. My favourite and COTD is 15d although 3d came a very close second.

    Beautiful day here in The Marches. Hudson, Perks and I have all been in the garden. I dug the vegetable patch, Hudson played silly games with a squeaky ball and Perks took great delight in batting down the heads of as many daffodils as he could. :grin:

  15. I found this teiicky but that may be because I cwas busy with cooking and gardening so I had to do it i 3 goes. I liked 8d, my COTD after thepenny dropped. 20 d, 3d, 24a and 16a. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Dada.

  16. A most entertaining puzzle for a sunny Sunday, with plenty of tricksy clues to keep us on our toes. Apart from the hideous 22d, there were no poor clues in the grid, with the excellent 2d heading the field.

    My thanks to Dada and Senf.

  17. Happy Easter to you all, it is warm and sunny again today.

    I have finally completed with the hint for 1 which was the only one I could not get my brain to sort out. I was on the wrong track completely. I thought it was great fun and particularly liked 15d.

    Many thanks to Senf and Dada and I hope you all enjoy the rest of the day.

  18. Steady rather rapid progress made today but no long holdups. The two long down clues were the key to solving this. Like others we weren’t keen on 22d. Favourite was 21a. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  19. Thanks to Dada and to Senf for the hints. A really enjoyable puzzle, some super clues, and plenty of smiles along the way. Favourite was 3d, was 2* / 4* for me.

  20. Dada in fairly benign mood today with this very enjoyable offering. Solved in a rather hit and miss fashion with the NE holding out the longest, and I’m still not sure that I have the correct answer for 7d. I particularly liked 1a, 19a, 23a and 15d. COTD has to be 24a for the LOL moment. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  21. Happy Easter to our commentariat, love that word.
    Whoopee, I finished a Dada; full disclosure with some ehelp, I failed at 24a! I have a word in 9d but cannot get the “why” and I’m sure it’s not right. Lots to like here, I only had the second letter of the first word in 8d when I happily wrote in the answer with fingers crossed! XXXX (I see it’s now acceptable in polite society) is 3d, but 15d a close second because of the dog.
    Thanks Dada, pleasant Sunday, and much appreciated Senf’s unravelling a few.

  22. Happy Easter to all. I enjoyed this, three in at first read through – greatly assisted by 22d which is nice and easy. In fact this was in a recent crossie and received the same complaints! I managed to get about three quarters way through before resorting to the hints, only to find that, as ever for me, the clues I needed were not included. I always realise because these are either lurkers or anagrams or so easy they do not warrant a hint, so then changing tack I get there in the end with facepalm. But I certainly needed help with 8d as the clue totally bewildered me, but with the hint the fog cleared. Is my COTD because I am working through the whole set as to do so gives a potted version of history and fashion changes over the years. I’ve just completed No. 15 so a long way to go. The versatility is amazing. I am also pleased I’ve done this before the woke police get at the early works! I hope I haven’t said too much and get sent to the naughty step. Many thanks to the compiler and Senf.

  23. A bit of a challenge, but then that is expected from Dada. Slow off the grid, but it did mostly come together. I cannot claim to have finished unaided, with some answers going in purely from the checkers. 1a was groan worthy, and 2d a bit of a stretch, but redeemed by COTD 24a. Happy Easter to one and all.

  24. Needed two sittings to finish this – and was surprised how quickly the ones I’d been bogged down with fell in revisiting. Often the way. Pleased to finish after yesterday’s travails.

  25. I did well on this Dada…until I got stuck on a couple which fortunately Senf had hinted. So managed to finish. Hurrah!

    Thanks to Dada and to Senf.

    Blooming cold up here today. It started with sunshine then clouded over with a cold East wind. Tried to do some gardening but had to come in to thaw out. Surely the better weather will come soon….surely ?

  26. For whatever reason, I found this Dada puzzle a little trickier/quirkier than normal. Had some trouble parsing quite a few of the clues. Lots of head scratching today for me.

    2.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 12a, 16a, 24a, 8d, 15d & 19d with winner 15d
    21a & 24a both brought a chuckle.
    Not a fan of 22d which to me is ‘lazy speak’ or a result of lazy texting … drives me round the flippin’ bend.

    Thanks to Dada and Senf

  27. Very enjoyable and taken in bite size chunks due to many distractions!
    Noted neither “spring” nor “equinox” but sharp intake at 22 down.

  28. Glad it wasn’t just me, only 4 on the 1st pass, and stared at it for a good while before anymore were added. Pretty much on a par, for me, with the Beam toughie from Thursday🤨

  29. Just managed to finish this relatively undemanding puzzle before getting involved in family Easter Day celebrations andthankfully didn’t really experience any hiccups. North fell into line first. Initially wanted to use a flower which is nearly the 24a solution. 23a and 19d are rather unsatisfactory words but engaging to parse. Thank you Dada and Senf (including the seasonal uplifting Hallelujah Chorus).

  30. 2/4. This was at the gentler end of the Dada spectrum. I liked 8d but this got pipped at the post by 24a which made me smile when I realised the misdirection. Thanks to Dada and Senf.

  31. Late getting round to this one. Went well until we made a mistake on 2d and needed the hint to confirm the error. Thanks for that.

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